track 12

Song Saturday: Gates of the Country

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Black Lab 1998 Image
Photo Credit: Paul Durham (the blond)
June 1998
Wikipedia

“Somehow I see, there are ships in her eyes…”

This Saturday’s playlist submission was never released as a single and it never charted…anywhere. It’s the last track, number 12, on the original 1997 debut release of Your Body Above Me by Black Lab. An alternative rock band founded in San Franciso, CA, in 1995 by Paul Durham, the band’s name is an amalgam of band names Black Sabbath and Stereolab. The album did have two hits, one of which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

There is not a bad song on this album and I nearly wore out my CD. I took notice of them when an alternative rock station showcased their first track (the #6 hit). I love Paul Durham‘s voice and, the band has had many songs used in movies and television, most notably Spider-Man (2002), Blade: Trinity and Transformers.

Black Lab World (Official Site)
Paul Durham (Official Site)

Lyrics

Tune Tuesday: England Dan & John Ford Coley 1979

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England Dan & John Ford Coley Image One
Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart was Love Is The Answer by England Dan & John Ford Coley. Released on March 4, the song was written by Todd Rundgren for his band Utopia. It is the last track on the 1977 album Oops! Wrong Planet. Rundgren’s version didn’t chart but, this cover version reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

From John Ford Coley:

Of all the songs we released as singles, that was my favorite. The song, first of all, had a classical base and the middle had a gospel section, which I loved.

Love Is The Answer Image Two
Image Credit: recordrelics.ecrater.com

From Todd Rundgren (on what the song meant to him):

We were doing an album at the time and, usually, we try and be collaborative when we write the songs because, we had made an agreement that we would share the publishing on all of our songs so that specific writers don’t get the credit. But, that was a song that I came up with. We put it on a bummer album like Oops! Wrong Planet thinking, maybe, we need to put something a little hopeful on it.

The song still has meaning to me. I perform it every night with Ringo. Ringo has his “three hit rule” and I’m taking advantage of a technicality in that Love Is The Answer was a hit but, it wasn’t a hit for me or Utopia. It was a hit for England Dan & John Ford Coley.

Originally, Ringo wanted me to do Hello It’s Me and I just felt that the song, in the context of what the rest of the band was playing, didn’t represent the message I wanted to convey because, “Hello It’s Me” is a kind of a selfish song. It’s me, me, me…it’s all about me. I’m in charge and, all this other stuff. I thought a better song, especially for Mr. Peace & Love, Ringo himself, would be “Love Is The Answer” and, people would know the song because it was a hit. […] they, maybe even, would just gloss over the fact that it wasn’t a hit for me and think, ‘Oh Yeah! Now, I remember him singing this song.’ So, for me, it’s a high point of the evening and, hopefully, the audience is getting the message.

Glen Campbell recorded the song in 2004 on his Love Is The Answer: 24 Songs of Faith, Hope and Love album. It remains a favorite of Christian artists.


 

Lyrics:
Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here anymore

And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a shortcut
I’d have found it
But there is no easy way around it

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why someday
We all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard

It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads
And walk on by
Tell me
Is it worth just another try

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
(Let it shine)
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Tell me
Are we alive
Or just a dying planet?
(What are the chances?)
Ask the man in your heart
For the answer

And when you feel afraid
(Love one another)
When you’ve lost your way
(Love one another)

And when you’re all alone
(Love one another)
And when you’re far from home
(Love one another)

And when you’re down and out
(Love one another)
And when your hopes run out
(Love one another)

And when you need a friend
(Love one another)
And when you’re near the end
(Love, we got to love
We got to love one another)

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
(Shine, shine, shine)
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer